Mendes Leaving Theater Where He Met Winslet
Sam Mendes put himself on the Hollywood map when he walked off with the Oscar for directing his motion picture debut--1999's "American Beauty." Now he's in the spotlight for something personal: a budding romance with "Titanic" star Kate Winslet.
Winslet and Mendes met when she inquired about working at the Donmar Warehouse Theater in London, where he's been artistic director for the last 10 years. Mendes announced Monday that he'll be stepping down from that post next November. During his tenure, the 251-seat theater became an international powerhouse, sending revivals of "Cabaret" and "The Real Thing" to Broadway.
Now that he's done all his favorite plays, he said, someone else should have a shot. Mendes' next big-screen effort is "The Road to Perdition," starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Alfred Molina and Jude Law. The film is expected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
People's Choice Nominees Announced
"The Fast and the Furious," "Pearl Harbor" and "Shrek" are the nominees for favorite motion picture in the 28th annual People's Choice Awards, which were announced Tuesday.
The nominations, determined by a Gallup poll of thousands of Americans, also included "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Frasier" and "Friends" as the favorite TV comedy series nominees, and "ER," "Law & Order" and "The West Wing" as contenders for favorite dramatic series.
Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and George Strait will vie for favorite male music performer, while Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears contend in the female music performing category.
The awards show, hosted by Kevin James ("The King of Queens"), will be telecast from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on CBS on Jan. 13.
IDA Honors Year's
"Children Underground" and "Startup.com" were among the feature-length films receiving 2001 Distinguished Achievement Awards from the International Documentary Assn. on Tuesday.
Directed and produced by Edet Belzberg and distributed by HBO, "Underground" chronicles the lives of some abandoned Romanian children. "Startup," co-directed by Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim and distributed by Artisan Entertainment, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the recent dot-com phenomenon.
Other films to be honored are HBO's "On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom," directed by Eric Simonson; "Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided," written and directed by David Grubin for PBS' "American Experience" series; and Kirk Wolfinger's "Hitler's Lost Sub."
The awards will be presented Dec. 7 at the 17th annual IDA awards ceremony at the Directors Guild of America Theatre.
NASA Technology: Boon to Art Restoration
A painting by Claude Monet that suffered severe smoke damage in a blaze at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1958 may be restored to its former glory, thanks to a technology developed by NASA that simulates the ravages of low-Earth orbit on spacecraft.
The piece, one in the artist's famous water-lilies series, was given by the museum to the Center for Conservation at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, where it has been used as a valuable teaching tool.
According to New Scientist.com, officials at the institute contacted space chemists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, when they heard of their success in removing an overzealous art lover's lipstick from an Andy Warhol painting. The trick: Chemists vaporize contaminants by blasting them with atomic oxygen created by applying an electric field to a mixture of oxygen and helium.
Encouraged to find civilian spinoffs for their work, NASA personnel designed a device to produce a beam of the substance--not unlike an airbrush. In tests on paint chips taken from a corner of the ruined Monet, soot and dark particles disappeared, but the colored pigment stayed intact.
People attempting to restore a recently rediscovered drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, however, were far less fortunate. The delicate ink work, of Orpheus being attacked by the Furies, was totally erased when submerged in a solution of alcohol and distilled water. Though the procedure is frequently used, Leonardo expert Carlo Pedretti expressed amazement that tests hadn't been conducted before going that route.
Queen to Display
Part of Art Collection
Works from London's Royal Collection--the largest art collection in private hands--will be on exhibit as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee next year. They'll be shown at the new Queen's Gallery, the biggest addition to Buckingham Palace since Queen Victoria had the ballroom built in the 1830s.
On display will be more than 450 items, from Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings to 15th century manuscripts, to the most valuable diamond brooch in existence.
The gallery is due to open May 22.
CBS' special "The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers" drew nearly 30 million viewers Monday, attracting CBS' biggest audience with non-sports programming in its time slot in more than a decade. The network's comedy block also set records, as all four shows achieved best-ever ratings, including "Everybody Loves Raymond," with 24.3 million viewers.... Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young will follow up last year's reunion concert with a 35-city, three month "Tour of America," which begins Feb. 6 in Detroit. Local dates: Arrowhead Pond on March 30 and Staples Center on April 1. No sales date has been announced.... ABC has canceled "Thieves," a first-year drama staring John Stamos and Melissa George.